Objective: To inform future human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccination programs, we systematically reviewed studies of HPV-related beliefs and HPV vaccine acceptability, organizing the findings using health behavior theory and cervical cancer risk factors.
Methods: We searched Medline, CINAHL, and PsycINFO from 1995 to January, 2007 for studies of HPV beliefs and HPV vaccine acceptability among adolescents, young adults, and parents of adolescents in the United States.
Results: We identified 28 studies. Most were small, cross-sectional studies of parents and adults. Most parents reacted positively to the possibility of vaccinating their daughters against HPV. Vaccination acceptability was higher when people believed the vaccine was effective, a physician would recommend it, and HPV infection was likely. Cost and, for 6% to 12% of parents, concerns that vaccination would promote adolescent sexual behavior were barriers to vaccination. African American, Hispanic, and white respondents were equally accepting of the HPV vaccine. Parents with lower levels of education reported higher vaccine acceptability. Many studies inadequately reported on other variables associated with cervical cancer mortality.
Conclusions: HPV vaccine programs in the United States should emphasize high vaccine effectiveness, the high likelihood of HPV infection, and physicians' recommendations, and address barriers to vaccination.